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Am I being sensitive, or are my complaints valid? that create a negative work environment, so deliber ately focus on the state of mind and emotions that are internalizedby employees. Am I being sensitive, or are my complaints valid? It is difficult to pinpoint direct behaviors toxic leaders or professional bullies implement that create a negative work environment, so deliber ately focus on the state of mind and emotions that are internalizedby employees. These introverted behaviors, feelings and gestures are indicators of an abusive or hostile work environment. Employees who find themselves having negative emotions, feeling wary, confused, fear, shame, pressure, stress and displaying avoidance techniques, which ultimately results in a drop of work performance, are those who more than likely work for a toxic leader. But to keep it real, there are employees out there who bring it on themselves as well…and before you file a complaint, make sure that it is not you. I would be remiss to not ask you to analyze your own actions as well and take constructive criticism. If you are not an asset to the organization, then you must take your limit. The longer you prolong the inevitable, the more difficult it will be to make a stand. You would think that the most difficult thing is to stand up for your subordinates, the individuals that work for you, but in many cases, it is actually having the backbone to fight for your own personal rights that creates the greatest indecisiveness. If you do take the leap of faith and fight for your right to be treated with dignity and respect, ensure that you are mentally prepared to go through the rollercoaster ride that you are bound to experience. It takes a resilient attitude and mentality, because ultimately some of the reactions from the individuals who you consider peers and/or friends, subordinates or bosses may blacklist you. It’ll be like you have the Ebola virus, hot to touch. Some people will straddle the fence to see where the cards fall. It’s not because they don’t ‘like’ you, but it’s for their own self-preservation. They have responsibilities within their own lives, and more than likely the average individual doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to assist in situations that may place their own professional career in a precarious position. When confronted with a quandary, the average individual will take the path of least resistance. It will make you feel alone and question your decision to fight…and in most realities, you are alone. Ensure that you remain positive and that it is displayed in your demeanor. A calm, positive demeanor will rattle the usual bully. A bully feeds of the negative emotions he has created in others, and if you don’t show him or her that he is ‘rattling your cage,’ it will muddle them. If it were only easy, many more people would come forward. Assume the worst after filing a complaint. Most individuals whoclimb the ranks don’t achieve their status because of asinine decisions that they’ve made during their professional tenure, so don’t assume that the same behaviors will continue after you file a formal complaint. This is when the chess match begins. Outward antagonistic behaviors previously displayed will disappear and manipulative tactics will ensue. Some will begin to counsel you on the smallest mistake that you make. Some will belittle you in

underhanded ways that are extremely difficult to prove…like those sweet Southern Belle’s who sit around the table with a pleasant open smile on their face while making damaging personal attacks and pretending to really ‘care’ about you. Another manipulative behavior is intentionally keeping you uninformed, which creates a perception of incompetence about you to clients, co-workers or other supervisors. Whichever tactic is used, be prepared and remain calm and professional. Probably the worst thing that you can do is become emotionally erratic in front of others. It will only justify their lack of professional respect for you. Go for it behind closed doors where there are no ears or eyes…wink…but ensure that you appear the wronged party during these investigations.It’s like an abusive relationship. Many people are accustomed to staying out of the line of fire. It’s a rollercoaster ride that has its highs and lows. Some days are good, some days are bad, but there is always that underlying tension when you are in the presence of your adult bully. The most difficult action is to come forward and stand up against an abusive boss. When or if you choose to make a stance, a myriad of emotions will run through your mind. Until you reconcile it within your heart that there may be repercussions and that you may draw the short end of the stick, it will affect you mentally and responsibility for your own actions or lack thereof, and selfdevelop yourself to garner the respect that you feel you deserve. One of the problems that we have as individuals is not being able to take an introspective look at our own actions to see why people treat us in a certain way or why the level of professional or personal respect is minuscule when compared to our counterparts. Have you asked yourself why your boss doesn’t trust you with critical tasks imperative for the organization’s success? We forget that leaders run an organization. They are responsible not only for the small pie that is our sphere of responsibility, but they are culpable for the larger picture. I leave you with a thought that I wrote down when I was going through tumultuous times during my tenure in purgatory…Some people draw in life’s breath from the power they hold over others. Their religion is belittling, bullying and instilling fear because it makes them feel like a God. Instead of using their man given power to bring up the next generation of leaders, they choose to break the backs of the individuals who strive for personal success and want to make the team successful, inadvertently making the bully successful. Motivation is the antithesis to a bully’s goals, angst drives them. ...what they fail to realize is that the stress they place on others just because they are able to manifests in their own physical failure because ultimately, the stress of accumulating enemies tears down internal health and well-being.


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